French Teacher Awarded Prestigious Honor from French Government
Loyola Academy French Teacher Mr. Tom Sapp has been given the honor of Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques, a prestigious recognition awarded to outstanding educators by the French government. Originally established in 1808 by Napoleon I, the Order of the Academic Palms is a national order of merit that bestows membership on those who have "rendered eminent service to French education and have contributed actively to the prestige of French culture."
Furthermore, the Palmes académiques are the oldest non-military French decoration usually awarded to French citizens and, on an exceptional basis, to foreigners. Recipients are selected by the Prime Minister of France, upon the recommendation of the French Minister of National Education. Americans who receive the Palmes académiques are notified by the Ambassador of France to the United States.
Monsieur Sapp’s award cited his "eminent service" to the teaching of French and the promotion of French culture in the United States. Mr. Sapp is beginning his twenty-first year of teaching French at Loyola Academy and also serves as the assistant director of student activities. He recently completed four years of elected service as president of the Chicago/Northern Illinois chapter of the American Association of Teachers of French, the nation's largest chapter with 500 members, and is now in his second year as the elected regional representative for seven AATF chapters in the Midwest.
In addition to his teaching responsibilities at Loyola, Monsieur Sapp moderates French Club and Student Council, and he is a mentor for the Dumbach Scholars. He leads the biannual student trip to France and coordinates Loyola's Seal of Biliteracy program. He is also involved in both adult and student retreat opportunities.